Ooligan Press has a long history of working with translated works and international authors—they were instrumental to the foundation of the press and continue to give us insights today. Some of the first titles that Ooligan ever produced were translated titles. After twenty years of book production, Ooligan is looking to expand its horizons by creating a rights department. But if we’ve been getting along fine without a rights department so far, why start one now?
In many presses, especially those that are medium to large size presses, the rights department is essential to ensuring that the press has enough money to take on new projects. Many publishers take on titles with the intent to immediately sell their rights to publishers abroad, audiobook creators, Braille printers, and other forms of subsidiary rights buyers, including the ever-elusive film rights buyers. The selling of the rights early on in the production process helps offset the cost of production; this, in turn, ensures that the press can take on future projects with less financial risk. The selling of rights supplements the income that is generated from book sales and can help aid the growth of the company. Publishing books is like walking a narrow rope bridge: on one side is risk and on the other is reward. Selling rights helps tie the rope bridge a little more firmly to the ground.
So how does this tie into Ooligan? As the new rights managers for Ooligan Press, we work with literary and rights agents to create links between Ooligan and the rest of the industry, especially abroad. As a small press, we are sometimes limited in the audiences that we can reliably reach, but publishing our books in other countries gives new readers access to those stories. The way we see it, we have a responsibility to our authors to do our best to help their books find their readers.
As we create our department and discover what is and isn’t within our scope, we hope to reopen the doors to foreign and translated works. We would love to see international stories once again in our frontlist. We also hope to take Ooligan to new places, and we have been excitedly planning to pitch Ooligan’s upcoming titles, as well as select backlist titles, to publishers and agents abroad. Ooligan boasts a unique, broad range of quality titles that could all find loyal readers in new environments if given the chance. Just imagine Finding the Vein in bookstores in Denmark or Forgive Me if I’ve Told You This Before in Braille. These books have meaningful impacts, and the more audiences we can reach, the greater the number of people who have the chance to fall in love with these stories like we did.
Thank you for supporting Ooligan Press through its journey so far, and we hope you’ll continue to come back as we grow. Stay tuned for the evolution of the rights department at Ooligan Press to start making those international connections and spread the word about Ooligan titles around the world!